One of the world’s top museums, the Second City, eight professional sports teams, Navy Pier, 601 parks, a mile-long shopping experience, 26 miles of public beaches, and classic American architecture make up merely several of the countless attractions the city of Chicago has to offer. No matter who you are, who you want to be, or what you want to do, Chicago has something for you. For help digging into Chicago’s numerous opportunities, check out our recommendations below.
Art Institute of Chicago
Recently named the top museum in the world by TripAdvisor.com, the Art Institute hosts one of the largest and most diverse collections on the planet. Featuring one of the most impressive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art ever assembled, including several of Monet’s “Water Lilies” and George Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” (of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame), the Art Institute also has an expansive collection of Modern Art, which can be found in its new Modern Wing. UChicago students can frequent the Art Institute any day of the week for free with their UCID.
Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
Get a crash-course in Chicago’s architecture in the best way possible—on a boat! Certified tour guides will give you an in-depth history of Chicago and how it grew from a small settlement into one of the world’s largest cities in less than 100 years. Get on board!
This massive park complex in the heart of Chicago encompasses Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bean, and Buckingham Fountain. Grant Park is home to summer events such as Lollapalooza, the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Blues Festival, and the Chicago Jazz Festival, and was the site of President Barack Obama’s 2008 Election Day victory speech.
Located along the shores of Lake Michigan , Navy Pier is a Chicago cultural landmark. Each year, the pier sees millions of visitors who come to ride the 150-foot tall Ferris wheel, explore the Chicago Children’s Museum, or attend a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Throughout the summer, Navy Pier also puts on regular fireworks shows every Wednesday and Saturday night at sundown.